Project

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Hierarchically structured materials for super-capacitors and batteries

English title Hierarchically structured materials for super-capacitors and batteries
Applicant Steiner Ullrich
Number 153764
Funding scheme NRP 70 Energy Turnaround
Research institution Adolphe Merkle Institute Université de Fribourg
Institution of higher education University of Fribourg - FR
Main discipline Condensed Matter Physics
Start/End 01.04.2015 - 31.03.2019
Approved amount 456'696.00
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All Disciplines (2)

Discipline
Condensed Matter Physics
Other disciplines of Physics

Keywords (5)

sol-gel chemistry; 3D printing/plotting; block-copolymer self-assembly; Li-ion batteries; nano-structured metal oxides

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Ullrich Steiner, Adolphe Merkle Institute
Lay summary

Background

Lithium batteries consist of two electrodes that are immersed in an electrolyte that carries lithium ions. Both electrodes allow lithium ions to move in and out of their interiors. The anode, typically graphite, stores the ions in its layered structure. The same occurs at the cathode, which often consists of a layered metal oxide. Upon discharging, the positive lithium ions move from the inside of the graphite anode across the electrolyte to the cathode, where lithium sits between the metal-oxide lattice planes. The reverse occurs for the discharge cycle. The energy density of the battery (energy that can be stored per kg of battery weight) is a key parameter. It depends on the number of charges that can be stored in anode and cathode. A second important parameter is the power density (the power the battery can deliver). It depends on the speed with which the ions can move in and out of the electrodes.

Particularly in the cathode, only a nanometer-thick surface layer participates in lithium ion storage. Since a typical cathode material is coarsely structured, much of it does not participate in the lithium exchange process, limiting both the energy and power density of the battery. Creating a more fine-grained structure is however problematic because this will reduce the electrical current that can be passed through the material and may limit the access of the lithium ions from the electrolyte.

Aim

This project seeks create battery electrode structures that simultaneously optimise lithium storage and the transport of lithium and electrical current to the parts of the electrode that stores the lithium ions. To this end we will need to create a material that provides "highways" for the electrolyte and the electrical current between the nano-structured regions of material and the battery terminals. This calls for a branched architecture. This project therefore will develop structured materials that possess a hierarchy of length scales.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 27.10.2014

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Clean Block Copolymer Microparticles from Supercritical CO 2 : Universal Templates for the Facile and Scalable Fabrication of Hierarchical Mesostructured Metal Oxides
Bennett Thomas M., He Guping, Larder Ryan R., Fischer Michael G., Rance Graham A., Fay Michael W., Pearce Amanda K., Parmenter Christopher D. J., Steiner Ullrich, Howdle Steven M. (2018), Clean Block Copolymer Microparticles from Supercritical CO 2 : Universal Templates for the Facile and Scalable Fabrication of Hierarchical Mesostructured Metal Oxides, in Nano Letters, 18(12), 7560-7569.
Polymer-Templated LiFePO 4 /C Nanonetworks as High-Performance Cathode Materials for Lithium-Ion Batteries
Fischer Michael G., Hua Xiao, Wilts Bodo D., Castillo-Martínez Elizabeth, Steiner Ullrich (2018), Polymer-Templated LiFePO 4 /C Nanonetworks as High-Performance Cathode Materials for Lithium-Ion Batteries, in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 10(2), 1646-1653.
Lithiation Thermodynamics and Kinetics of the TiO 2 (B) Nanoparticles
Hua Xiao, Liu Zheng, Fischer Michael G., Borkiewicz Olaf, Chupas Peter J., Chapman Karena W., Steiner Ullrich, Bruce Peter G., Grey Clare P. (2017), Lithiation Thermodynamics and Kinetics of the TiO 2 (B) Nanoparticles, in Journal of the American Chemical Society, 139(38), 13330-13341.
Mesoporous Titania Microspheres with Highly Tunable Pores as an Anode Material for Lithium Ion Batteries
Fischer Michael G., Hua Xiao, Wilts Bodo D., Gunkel Ilja, Bennett Thomas M., Steiner Ullrich (2017), Mesoporous Titania Microspheres with Highly Tunable Pores as an Anode Material for Lithium Ion Batteries, in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 9(27), 22388-22397.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
University of Cambridge Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel
Cornell University United States of America (North America)
- Exchange of personnel
Steve Howdle group, University of Nottingham Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
10th International Mesostructured Materials Symposium Talk given at a conference Metamaterials Made by Polymer Self-Assembly 10.09.2018 Los Angeles, United States of America Steiner Ullrich;
256th ACS National Meeting & Exposition Talk given at a conference Porous self-assembled block-copolymer scaffolds for nanomaterial fabrication 19.08.2018 Boston, United States of America Steiner Ullrich;
Advanced Automotive Battery Conference AABC17 Poster Hierarchically structured materials for supercapacitors and batteries 19.06.2017 San Francisco, United States of America Steiner Ullrich; Hua Xiao;
Swiss NanoConvention 2017 Poster Nanostructured Battery Materials by Polymer Self-Assembly and Sol-Gel Chemistry 01.06.2017 Fribourg, Switzerland Steiner Ullrich; Hua Xiao;
Swiss NanoConvention 2017 Poster Investigation of Solar-powered Rechargeable Battery 01.06.2017 Fribourg, Switzerland Steiner Ullrich; Hua Xiao;
Frühjahrstagung der Deutsche Physikalischen Gesellschaft Individual talk Hierarchically Structured Electrode Materials for Lithium- Ion Batteries 19.03.2017 Dresden, Germany Steiner Ullrich; Hua Xiao;
4th International Soft Matter Conference Talk given at a conference Polymer Self-Assembly: Function Through Structure 12.09.2016 Grenoble, France Steiner Ullrich;
IBA2016 Poster Hierarchically Structured Materials for Supercapacitors and Batteries 20.03.2016 Nantes, France Steiner Ullrich; Hua Xiao;
Swiss Soft Days SSD17 Poster Hierarchically structured materials for supercapacitors and batteries 05.10.2015 Fribourg, Switzerland Hua Xiao; Steiner Ullrich;
shape up 2015 : exercises in materials geometry and topology Poster Hierarchically structured materials for supercapacitors and batteries 14.09.2015 Berlin, Germany Steiner Ullrich; Hua Xiao;


Self-organised

Title Date Place

Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Talks/events/exhibitions Science Slam 2017 German-speaking Switzerland 2017

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
163220 Self-assembled optical metamaterials 01.05.2016 Project funding (Div. I-III)

Abstract

Batteries are a core technology for the transition from fuel-based to electric mobility. The power density of the currently available Li-ion batteries is much too low to enable the mobility range of cars with combustion engines. It is the purpose of this project to explore a new paradigm for battery construction, which promises to substantially lower the weight and enhance the storage capacity of Li-batteries. This project proposes to develop a strategy for the optimisation existing battery chemistries and take them to the physically possible limit in terms of storage capacity per volume and weight. Using a combination of sol-gel chemistry, polymer self-assembly and 3D printing, hierarchically structured (1mm -> 10 nm) battery electrodes will be created with the aim to determine the morphology that optimises Li-ion batteries in terms of the energy and power densities. The project consists of three tasks, (1) the development of sol-gel chemistries that can be co-assembled with block-copolymers to form lithium-metal-oxides for battery electrodes with well-defined 10-nm morphologies; (2) The development of a 3D plotting/ printing method to manufacture hierarchically structured materials that simultaneously optimise surface area for lithiation reactions and electrical and ionic conductivities across thick layers; (3) The translation of the optimised morphology developed in Task 2 to a scalable technology using the assembly of pre-manufactured 10-µm-sized building blocks.
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